Joe Biden pledged Tuesday to bring the coronavirus pandemic under enough control to open most of the nation's schools during his first 100 days as president—going much further on the issue than he has in the past, even while warning that the US is facing a "dark winter." The president-elect said that promise is dependent on Congress providing sufficient funding to protect returning students, teachers, and campus staff, the AP reports. He made the promise during an event in Delaware to introduce a team of health experts set to help the new administration combat a virus that has already killed more than 285,000 Americans. The first coronavirus vaccine, from drugmaker Pfizer, is expected to be endorsed by a panel of FDA advisers as soon as this week, with delivery of 100 million doses—enough for 50 million Americans—expected in coming months.
Biden said he'd call for all Americans to wear masks for 100 days and would distribute at least 100 million vaccines during his first 100 days in the White House, in addition to seeking to reopen most of the nation's schools over the same period. He said officials will prioritize getting vaccines to educators "as soon as possible" after health care personnel and people in long-term care facilities have gotten them. Biden’s comments won praise from the nation’s two major teachers unions. "All I can say is hallelujah," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. "We finally have a president-elect who understands that we need resources and strong public health measures in order to reopen school buildings."
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